WASHINGTON (CBS) -- The Supreme Court has issued rulings in two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage. Both rulings are being seen as huge victories for supporters of same sex marriage.
Supporters of same-sex marriage cheered after hearing today's Supreme Court ruling striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
Read the full Supreme Court opinion on Defense of Marriage Act here: http://1.usa.gov/10kXmpw
They also applauded a ruling that clears the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.
Read the full Supreme Court opinion on Prop 8 challenge: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-144_8ok0.pdf
The justices voted 5-to-4 that a key part of the federal law, known as DOMA, which denied benefits to same sex couples is unconstitutional.
Edie Windsor, 83, went to the Supreme Court in March to challenge DOMA after she was forced to pay taxes on the estate of her partner of more than 40 years.
Republican leaders who fought to keep DOMA intact, are bitterly disappointed with today's ruling. Rep. John Boehner said, "After we've, I've read the decision we'll have something for you."
Supporters of same-sex marriage were here at the Supreme Court as early as last night, waiting for today's historic rulings. Plaintiff Sandy Stier says, "We thank the justices for letting us get married in California, but that's not enough! It's got to go nationwide, and we can't wait for that day!"
Austin Nimocks, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom said, "We're disappointed about the Supreme Court's decision on standing, but we're happy that Proposition 8 does remain the law of the state of California."
In the California case, the justices ruled that supporters of Proposition 8 did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings which had struck down the ban on same-sex marriages.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement calling today's rulings quote "a tragic day for marriage and our nation."